Momentum continues to build for Nashville Zoo’s Grow Wild campaign. We are thrilled to announce that the Dugas Family Foundation has committed $1M towards construction of the Peruvian Lodge in the Andean Bear Exhibit. Given the foundation’s areas of interests, including children and youth services, the environment and natural resources, and education, the Zoo is a perfect fit for their philanthropic funding. Laura Dugas stated, “Our family was enthusiastic and unanimous in our support. The Nashville Zoo exemplifies the very best in Nashville’s non-profits.”
Scheduled to open in 2016, this exhibit will depict Peru’s highlands and feature one of the world’s most endangered bear species, Andean bears. Visitors will enter the exhibit via a themed plaza with numerous structures that create an authentic indigenous village.
The centerpiece of the village will be the Peruvian Lodge, replicated after a famous lodge located at the base of Machu Pichu, Peru’s “Lost City of the Incas”. Inside this building, visitors will get an unobstructed view of the bears in their natural environment. A traditional, operable Peruvian oven will be featured, along with authentic artifacts, artwork and building materials. The lodge will provide guests with air-conditioned and heated space that will be a welcomed break from extreme weather conditions.
We’re most appreciative of the Dugas Family Foundation’s generous investment in the future of Nashville Zoo!